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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 30, 2011 10:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Hey, Guys, I Finally Figured It Out!

Yeah, there's actually been some really good interaction lately on GD threads; that was before Lights Out in my time zone, though. I check the important news sites first thing in the a.m. -- what's up with impending doom in DC, what's the latest on Neanderthals, what's up with the GD forum -- and that's all that had changed this morning. I think the Kochabaloo does tire people out, though they/we bounce back and ramble on as usual, and I really do assume that some days folks are just out on a hike or something. Heck, I was.

To some extent it is a reflection of the overall scene, but it's also a virtual community, and in the 21st century our minds are quite literally being remade by our use of the internet. (There was some research on that lately regarding how we store information). So I do think that what this reveals about virtual interaction, unspoken rules, places that are and aren't communities and both partake of and free people from social conventions is intriguing.

That's equivalent to the Deadhead scene, interestingly, in that the rules there were also unwritten and, when they began to be broken, a whole strange dynamic ensued. I can think of lots of ways that the GD scene was a precursor or surprising pre-echo of aspects of virtual life. Maybe I'll write on it someday. I'm wondering if Barlow has put down any thoughts on that somewhere.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Jul 31, 2011 5:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Hey, Guys, I Finally Figured It Out!

Was just thinking when you get done with Bob's biography, you better get in touch with Barlow on that :) sounds like a good idea.

I dunno ... lately the trash talk here has gotten REAL tiresome. I understand the moderators don't want to actually moderate. It seems there is simply nothing we can do, in the absence of moderation. This situation surely drives people off.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 31, 2011 7:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Hey, Guys, I Finally Figured It Out!

No kidding. Maybe that's the point. Who knows.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Jul 30, 2011 10:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: communities

There are many very interesting connections between the GD and the development of digital networks and communities. Some of these have been written about tangentially but I don't know of anything that focused on it as a main subject. Let me list a few I've read about or noticed:

1) Barlow and the EFF - this is one of the central strands, because the EFF is incredibly important and is directly connected to the "anarchist" strain within the GD and freak communities.

2) Deadheads as online pioneers on the WELL and BBSes and usenet - during the 80s, due to the overlap between San Francisco and silicon valley as well as the overlap between college students and Deadheads, GD fans were some of the first to start using networked computers for "nontechnical" purposes. This is an area of research I am very interested in - are there archives available of all the early online discussions of the band?

3) Tape trading and the culture of free and open source software - this is a really interesting overlap. Within the world of computing, one of the most important movements was started by Richard Stallman and his Free Software Foundation, dedicated to creating software that users are free to share and modify. The core ethos of free and open source software is the same as that of trading live concert recordings and its acceptance by the Grateful Dead. The connections aren't entirely direct, but I think it isn't too far from the truth to say that the ideas about the benefits of cooperative sharing of information pioneered by the GD and fans are partly responsible for software like the Linux kernel, the Firefox web browser, the Apache web server, the Android mobile OS, the VLC media player, and the whole rest of the world of software that users can share freely and improve by modifying the source code.

4) P2P music distribution. The creation of "tape trees" online where multiple heads would agree to make copies of shows and mail them on to other heads who would make copies and mail them on to yet more heads according to a prearranged trunk-and-branches scheme was a forerunner of modern p2p filesharing protocols like bittorrent which distribute the work of copying information across the network between multiple nodes.

I think there are some more that I have in mind but my brain just ran out of steam power.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Jul 31, 2011 5:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: communities

Very interesting ... thanks to both of you for dragging some useful thoughts and information out of this!!

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 30, 2011 11:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: communities

Exactly -- some of which I knew, some of which I didn't. There are other similarities in a more amorphous way, too.

1) Both places are in some sense virtual zones that you can enter and exit at will, and where you take on a kind of "avatar" that is an expression of yourself but not your whole self (the "dressing up" aspect of shows);

2) The online world allows people to "follow around" their interests and meet up with the likeminded, be it in regards to the GD or quilting or lhasa apso dogs, in a shared cultural space where there is a kind of automatic and rather democratic acceptance;

3) There is a bit of a free space for insanity, and there can be genuine danger;

4) People who participate in the experience can reshape time and space, or feel as if they are ... another way of saying that places like the forum are a great way to procrastinate :-)

I'm sure there are more. That's all I can think of now. I could probably babble on, LOL, but time to do some non-virtual stuff already!